Previous Semesters

Spring 2017 - Graduate Courses

Teaching Apprenticeship in German (1.5 credits)
Alexander Pichugin
Th2 9:50-11:10am, AB 2200

This course prepares graduate students for a successful teaching and learning experience in the foreign language classroom. The course addresses two major goals: introduce aspiring and beginning instructors to the most current methodologies of foreign language teaching and provide them with guidance and practical advice in the classroom. Special focus this semester will be on classroom interaction with its various aspects. The course includes designing lesson plans for a learner-centered classroom, stating objectives based on standards of foreign language learning and nationally accepted proficiency guidelines, finding authentic materials for teaching, developing and reviewing graded assignments, analyzing and comparing different assessment tools, observing and reflecting upon one's own teaching and the teaching by others, and discussing personal experiences and the challenges of the language classroom. This course is taught in German with some assignments and readings in English.

Introduction to Middle High German

Alexander Pichugin
Th34 11:30-2:30pm, AB 3100

In German.

This seminar introduces students to language, literature, and culture of the Middle-High German period (ca. 1050-1350) and helps in preparation for the Area I Exam. Students will analyze the phonology and grammar of Middle High German while reading representative texts of the period with a special emphasis on the popular epic (Song of the Nibelungs, Gudrun), court epic (Erec, Poor Henry, and Iwein by Hartmann von Aue, Parzival by Wolfram von Eschenbach, and Tristan by Gottfried von Strassburg), and Minnesang (courtly love poems by Friedrich von Hausen, Heinrich von Veldeke, Heinrich von Morungen, Reinmar von Hagenau, and Walther von der Vogelweide).

Exercises in Political Thought (Hannah Arendt)
Susanne Luedemann
W 4:30-7:10pm, AB 4050

In English. 

"Exercises in Political Thought" is the subtitle of "Between Past and Future", a collection of essays by Hannah Arendt first published in the United States in 1961. It includes essays on topics as different as tradition, the concept of history, freedom, the crisis in education and culture, and the conquest of space, and it takes as its starting point what Arendt calls "the gap between past and future". According to her, this 'gap' in time became a tangible reality for all after the Second World War, when the thread of western tradition turned out to be broken. Her exercises try to "move in this gap" in the form of criticism of traditional concepts as well as in the form of thought experiments, but their only aim is, as she claims, "to gain experience in how to think" (not to make prescriptions on what to think or which truths to hold). In this respect, the essay as a literary form has a natural affinity to the exercises she has in mind: The unity of their collection is not the unity of a whole but, as she puts it, "of a sequence of movements which, as in a musical suite, are written in the same or related keys." In this course, we will read essays from "Between Past and Future" and other collections of essays by Arendt (especially from "The Promise of Politics" and "Responsibility and Judgment") 'written in related keys'. Besides Arendt's concept of politics, special attention will be paid to the relationship of politics and thinking (or judging), and to the relationship of thinking and literary form.

Nervous Systems, 1885-1933 
Nicola Behrmann
T 4:30-7:10pm, AB 4050

In English. Course prepares PhD candidates in the German Department for qualifying exams in areas IV and V.

 This course examines the modernist predicament as nervous system, which contains various modalities of failure and collapse: Aphasia and addiction, the incarcerated subject, the decentered self and the teenager, liminality and poverty, hysteria and schizophrenia, apocalypse, suicide, and war. We will be looking at these tropes and theories in regard to specific gender and media technologies that are being employed and by doing so, combine pertinent literary and critical works of the time between 1895 and 1933 with more recent theories: Deleuze’s Coldness and Cruelty will be read together with Sacher-Masoch and Robert Walser; Butler’s Bodies That Matter with Fontane’s Effi Briest and the sex tragedies of Wedekind and Kokoschka; Ronell’s The Telephone Book with Lasker-Schüler and Trakl; Freud’s “Fragments of an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria” with the works of Schnitzler, Zürn, and Cixous; Derrida’s “No Apocalypse, Not Now” with Futurist manifestos; Kittler’s Gramophone, Film, Typewriter with Rilke’s “Primal Sound,” the fantasy tales of Mynona, and early silent cinema.